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Sobriety

Time to face the music of sobriety - flushed the last bit of weed I had the other night. Most times I smoked my aches and symptoms of stress would get worse. A lot smoke for pain, for me it made it worse. I get a lot more done in life when sober, but I always miss weed whenever I give it up. Never quite feeling ready to face the reality of my life without a mask.

On days off I'd wake and bake, then top up that high throughout the day. On working days I'd have a smoke soon as I'd finished work. Basically, unless I was working - I was usually living within the fog of weed. Could never smoke a large amount though, as it'd make my anxiety go nuts. I know that living without weed gives me a lot less anxiety, and very little in the way of aches/pains due to anxiety. So why keep smoking it then? Because it's an addiction, and even when you know it comes with a lot of negatives; you keep on doing it, and struggle to quit.

Back on 1st December I hit 4 years alcohol free. There's numerous behavioural addictions I have, such as my computer, internet, social media, shopping, seeking gratification and validation through others, and a myriad of other stuff.

When sober I get more done in my day to day life. Smoking weed, or doing other drugs tends to make doing nothing quite easy. Comfortable through inaction. Few months back my mum sent me photos of my messy room with I AM WORTH MORE. That left an odd friction between us. Mind you, I've never had the best of relationships with my folks, and my mum's anxiety and tension is on a knife edge like my own. Slightest thing sets her off. So I give her and my dad a wide berth. Since my pre-teens and ever since, I tend to just live in my room, and when my van is done - I will live in my own little world there. After her photos and outburst; no more eating food in my room. Difficult, as now it only gives me 3 small windows during the day to eat in peace, alone. Why not eat with your parents? Because I feel 50 shades of uncomfortable in their company, and that's something that has never improved with time, in fact - on my journey with mental health and therapy, it's actually made it worse being around my parents. Probably sounds odd, but it is what it is. I don't feel comfortable in the company of my parents, and I like to eat alone, or in good company.

A lot has been happening of late. Recently single - went with my gut on that one, having ignored it early in the relationship. We made about 4.5 weeks, had our first arguement, and I said if this is how it starts, I don't want to see how it ends. Since we stopped talking, she's messaged me 3 times on various social media accounts to share her theories and accusations on why things ended. I can sympathise, as whilst what she believes isn't true - I understand how anxiety and self-worth can convince you of things. I did the same with Meg, Chels and Ara. 3 people I dated who I was head over heels with, and my self-sabotaging behaviours and anxiety pushed them away. I convinced myself of so many terrifying possibilities that became reality in my mind.

Being deeply concerned for someone's mental health isn't a good vibe for a relationship, and I realised if we'd got over that first argument, the potential for my anxiety and unease to be very high was an extremely sobering reality. So I pulled the plug. I live in the hope she doesn't ever contact me again, as that's how we ended things after the breakup, but since then there've been messages and accusations - which made me descend into anxiety and paranoia - which I really don't need in my life. Cutting those bad vibes out of my life is the sanest and safest option.

Saw a couple of escorts since the breakup. The first one I saw was my worst experience. She was late 20's, very pretty and Romanian. Over half our work force is Romanian. Having learned the history of their upbringing - and how it was a Communist dictatorship until the 80's; I understand why these carers I've met have this undercurrent of hardship and sadness to them. Tough upbringing and struggle for many decades makes people give off a certain vibe.

Anyway, this escort made no effort at all. There was a complete lack of intimacy, and after a few minutes I told her this isn't working. She took offence to it, along with the fact I didn't climax within a few minutes like her clients did. She told me I must have had sex too much. All a bit strange to be honest. I tried making conversation, as talking is a big part of the escort experience. But she had nothing - the conversation was dull, she was more interested in messaging clients, and replied to many of my questions and topics with confusion or disinterest.

Serves as a reminder of something that's already been apparent to me - a lot of beautiful looking women who are into beauty and aesthetics etc. have very little going on when you chat with them. Which might sound jaded, but it's been my experience throughout life. As far as I could tell, outside of shopping and plastic surgery this person had very little in the way of interests. I tried to talk deep, but nothing seemed to coax a decent reply. In the end she said something along the lines of "Are we done then?" and ended the appointment half an hour early.

Few weeks later and I have my best escort experience, which makes a nice contrast. I was working a half day on a Monday and had arranged to meet someone about 45 mins drive from where I was working. Just before I began my last client visit, she text me to cancel. So I went online, to the site I use, found another and called her. She had a lovely, calm and polite voice and was available to meet at short notice.

Communication was good before we met. I drove around 45 mins, and found her place easily enough. When I knocked on the door, she opened it in a way so that she was hidden behind the door, in the corner - so neighbours couldn't see. When she closed the door behind her, I saw she was petite, and covered in tattoos. She took one look at me and was glad I wouldn't have an issue with a tattooed woman. Truth be told, I don't - but I've actually always dated women who aren't heavily tattooed. She was pretty though. 10 years older than me, with blue eyes, dyed reddish hair and a warm and inviting temperament.

Turns out her brother was a tattooist and did all her work. She had the makings of several arm sleeves, and she had some intricate geographic, dot work in the middle of her neck/throat. I paid her and we walked upstairs. We quickly started making out, and I could tell already this would be a nice experience. She took off her heels and revealed she was 5'1" and 3/4's. She joked that the 3/4's was very important. When she revealed her true height, I smiled warmly. I've never been with someone that short, but I've always admired petite women.

She wore a black dress, which, when she removed it; revealed a lot of excess skin. I realised she must've lost a huge amount of weight in the past. Her skin was the sofest I'd ever felt, and the sexual experience was great. I approached it with passion and a growing confidence that I've noticed in the bedroom the past couple of years. She ended up having many orgasms and afterwards she asked me why I didn't have a girlfriend, or suggesting I became a male escort. She revealed afterwards that she'd lost over 19 stone, and showed me pictures of how she'd looked before. She was waiting to have a tummy tuck to remove over 1 stone worth of excess skin. Honestly though, in my line of work I have seen all sorts of body shapes, sizes and different conditions. I actually saw nothing ugly about her excess skin. The fact her skin was so smooth, and the way it felt against my skin was actually very endearing.

The whole male escort thing is an interesting idea - and something I had pondered. I mean, earning £100+ an hour would suit a lot of people. But the potential for meeting people who made me feel awkward or uncomfortable is high. Someone I worked with in my first job had been a male escort, but had a girlfriend at the time - so he was strictly dinner dates and outings etc. and nothing else.

This escort I saw was like another wonderful escort I met, who was empathic and also followed her intuition when it came to screening clients, and wouldn't meet a lot of people. Many who use escorts give off a bad vibe - she also didn't see asian men. She was quick to tell me this wasn't about race, but more about the patriarchal society they're a part of, and not wanting to be a part of, or promote their treatment of women; which is perfectly understandable and justificable in my opinion.

The conversations afterwards were really lovely, and I asked if we could cuddle up, which she agreed to. We lay together, naked in bed. I found her height really endearing. I've dated women who are mid 5' and my last girlfriend made a refreshing change being 6'. But 5'1"? She was quite cute, but also very strong too. She did kick boxing and martial arts competitively. Bit of a firecracker, but also I could tell she was a very kind and deep person. She has a son who is autistic, and we spoke at length about all sorts.

60 minutes goes quite quickly to be honest. I maintain that it's more effective therapy than paying for an hour with a therapist. When I left I text her thanking her for a lovely time and saying that I'd meet her in January. She replied "I had the best time, thank u so much x x x"

Nice feedback to have. But my experience in general has been pleasant with escorts. One wanted to keep in contact and be friends after we met. Another messaged me out the blue letting me know when they're back in Cambridge. I told them I had a girlfriend at the time, and she replied saying she was really happy I'd found someone and wasn't seeing an escort any more. It was nice that she thought to message me though. She was from Colombia, and called me her "red headed gentleman". In fact, the moment she opened her apartment door, I saw her face light up - and she announced how handsome I was.

Another escort has repeatedly messaged me to let me know when she's working locally, as me and her also shared a wonderful connection and conversed deeply about trauma and life struggles. It's nice that these experiences have been therapeutic for both me and the people I have met. I'm sure some would suggest it's part of what they do, to make people feel wanted etc, but I know what my gut tells me, and I'm sharing a genuine connection with these people.

The whole people pleaser and being a nice guy has been how I've navigated life since I was young. As my confidence has grown as a sexual being, I realised that the positive comments around such endeavours has been similar to how people always comment how nice a guy I am. Seems I'm very different to the usual clientel these women see. It's nice to share a special experience with people. But also the fact it remains a business transaction in my mind. With Meg and my last girlfriend I tried and failed at attempting a friends with benefits situation. With an escort it's easy for my mind to make the distinction, but it doesn't deter from the reality that we can share a very special time together - one that benefits both of us.

Her feedback for me made me smile:

"Had the most amazing time with this absolute gentleman, sexy and passionate and so much more, welcome back any time x x"


Outside of that, life is pretty repetitive. Working 5 days a week. 3 of which tend to be full days and the others are half days. We lost one client on my regular route, but gained another the other day. Longer days on this round means the other 2 working days will be shorter, and sometimes it means I have 3 days off a week. The office still calls regularly asking me to do more hours. I spoke with the 2nd in command of the company to complain my 48 hour limit is not being adhered to every week. In fact I average 53-57+ hours every week. Although I need the money, it's quite exhausting.

In May I'll have worked there a year, and can leave the company without being charged for the training I did. I'm looking to move to live in care work afterwards. Doing a 2 week on, 2 week off rota. Having a lot more free time, and 2 weeks of minimal outgoings and travel would suit me. But this'll have to wait until the van is done.

I'll be speaking with the owner of the commercial bodyshop I've been using. They said to speak with them after 2nd January. I'll also be enquiring if I can pay them to store the van in their large yard. Once the van is ready to live in and I've started my new job, I'd keep the van parked there for 2 weeks, then swap my car out for the van. Can't see it being an issue, but I'll ask. Hopefully he agrees, as they have a large fenced/gated site and it's only 15 min drive from mine. But once the van is done I want to leave my parents and never return. So the van needs to be kept somewhere secure and fairly local.

Car was in for a service yesterday. Felt it needed new spark plugs as there's been power issues below 1500 RPM and you put your foot down and it just wallows with no power until 2k RPM and then it wakes up. I got used to it, but in certain situations it's dangerous, and if you get caught out with oncoming traffic and you have no power for a couple of seconds; it's a horrid feeling.

Just got the car and keys back. He couldn't fix the wallowing issue. Service came in cheaper than expected £342. It needs 2 front tyres and new rear brakes, discs, pads etc. So that'll be next months spend (of money I don't have). I looked up on a Hyundai forum and this power issue is experienced by others with the same model and engine as mine. One person did 15k miles with it and the problem didn't develop. Mechanic thought maybe the exhaust muffler or catalytic converter could be an issue, and it's not able to expel exhaust gases like it needs to. That's an expensive "what if" though.

I'm about £24,500 in debt right now. The next few months will be focusing on getting that down quickly. In March I get 2 paydays. We get 13 for the year. Anyway, by that point I'll have over £6000 of my debt paid off. Will feel better once I have some breathing room.

May/June is the time to install the electrics and heating in the van. Quite a delay up until that time. But we do what we can I suppose. I just hate being in debt.

It'd also be nice if I got some art sales, although having that money go straight into paying off debt wouldn't feel like I had much to show for it.

So let's see how this first day of being stone cold sober goes. I'm feeling quite antsy knowing my current financial situation doesn't improve for around 10 weeks. With zero spending money outside of food and fuel. Impulsive spending and shopping is another addiction of mine, and one I've never truly managed to wrangle in for any notable length. And the more stressed I feel, the more likely I am to splurge.

The one treat, and bit of respite I'm allowing myself is to see that escort again, once a month. Something to look forward to.

Ed

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Raggamuffin
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